Summary Statement, 3rd Quarter, 1863 – Kentucky’s batteries

Battery returns from Kentucky must have posed problems for the clerks at the Ordnance Department.  Not only was there conflicts with the designations – what with a numbered and lettered designation system being used to reference the same batteries – but even getting established how many different batteries existed seemed to be an issue.  At the end of 1862, two entry lines left little but confusion.  For the first quarter of 1863, the clerks listed two of the three batteries then on active service.   And the second quarter of 1863 gave the same two batteries, out of what was then four batteries, with some designation cross-ups (along with two sections reported with infantry regiments).  But things look better for the third quarter of 1863:

0257_1_Snip_KY

Four batteries, out of what was then five batteries, plus a “section” from an infantry regiment.  That “section” actually had more guns than many real batteries!  So let us dive into the administrative details:

  • 1st Battery (or Battery A):  At Murfreesboro with two 6-pdr field guns, two 3-inch Ordnance Rifles, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles.  Captain Theodore S. Thomasson remained in command.  And the battery remained at Murfreesboro as unassigned artillery in the Army of the Cumberland.
  • 2nd Battery (or Battery B): No return.  Captain John M. Hewett’s battery detached from Second Division, Fourteenth Corps to support the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics at Elk River Bridge, Tennessee. An army return from late September 1863 indicated four artillery pieces were at the bridge, presumably all Hewett’s.  A wartime photo shows this bridge rivaled the famous “cornstalks and beanpoles” Potomac Creek Bridge of Virginia.

ElkRiverBridge_small

  • 3rd Battery (or Battery C):  Not listed.  While organizing, earlier in the spring, the battery was captured (and paroled) when Confederates raided Lebanon, Kentucky, thus setting things back a bit.  Formally, the battery did not muster until September 1863.  The battery remained at Louisville, Kentucky through the fall.  Captain John W. Neville in command, the battery was assigned to First Division, Twenty-Third Corps.
  • Battery D: This battery never completed organization. I include here just to avoid the question, “what about Battery D?”
  • Battery E: At Camp Nelson, Kentucky, with no artillery.  Captain John J. Hawes commanded this brand new battery, formally mustered on October 6, 1863.
  • Simmonds’ Independent Battery, also 1st Kentucky Independent Battery: No location given, but with six 10-pdr Parrotts. This was Captain Seth J. Simmonds’ battery and was stationed at Gauley Bridge, West Virginia through the late summer.  The battery was assigned to Scammon’s Division, Department of West Virginia.  In late September the battery moved to Camp Toland, Charleston, West Virginia.  The battery remained active, supporting various scouting operations and expeditions in the department.
  • Company G(?), 14th Kentucky Infantry: At Louisa, Kentucky, with four 6-pdr field guns, two 12-pdr field howitzers, and two 3.80-inch James Rifles… yes, quite a battery in that infantry regiment!  Colonel George W. Gallup’s regiment was posted to Louisa as part of the Twenty-Third Corps.  Remaining behind during the Knoxville Campaign, the regiment formed into the District of Eastern Kentucky.  Though I don’t have any other details as to this “section” of artillery within the regiment.

Though we still have a mix, and mess, of designations, the clerks had made progress documenting the Kentucky batteries.

Turning to the ammunition on hand, we start as usual with the smoothbore:

0259_1_Snip_KY

Two lines to consider:

  • 1st Battery: 320 shot, 180 case, and 111 canister for 6-pdr field guns.
  • 14th Infantry: 532 shot, 358 case, and 295 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 56 case and 11 canister for 12-pdr field howitzers.

One battery with 3-inch rifles, so one line on the Hotchkiss page:

0259_2_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 75 canister, 80 percussion shell, 80 fuse shell, and 160 bullet shell for 3-inch rifles.

We’ll break up the next page for clarity, starting with one additional entry for Hotchkiss:

0260_1A_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 40 canister for 3.80-inch James rifles.

And speaking of James, we have entries for James patent projectiles:

0260_1B_Snip_KY

  • 1st Battery: 12 shot and 66 shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • 14th Infantry: 26 shot, 49 shell, and 36 canister for James Rifles.

Out in West Virginia, there were six Parrotts manned by Kentuckians, so we find Parrott patent projectiles:

0260_1C_Snip_KY

  • Simmonds’ Battery: 1504 shell and 265 canister for 10-pdr Parrotts.

Simmonds’ Battery reported a large quantity of shells on hand in previous quarters.  So this is no quarterly aberration.

Turning to the Schenkl projectiles:

0260_2_Snip_KY

Two batteries reporting:

  • 1st Battery: 250 Schenkl shell for 3.80-inch James Rifles.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: 69 Schenkl shell for 10-pdr Parrott.

And off to the right, we see an entry for Tatham’s canister:

  • 1st Battery: 110 canister for 3.80-inch rifles.

Closing up Kentucky’s batteries, we have the small arms reported:

0260_3_Snip_KY

Just two reporting:

  • 1st Battery: Fourteen Navy revolvers, ten cavalry sabers, and twenty-five horse artillery sabers.
  • Simmonds’ Battery: Twenty-four Army revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.

Next up, we turn to the Kansas batteries… you see, while the clerks were struggling with their accounting of Kentucky’s cannon, they were hard pressed to keep things alphabetical!

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Summary Statement, 2nd Quarter, 1863 – Missing batteries

Earlier this week, I finished the transcription of the second quarter, 1863 summary statements with a pair of entries for California under the “Miscellaneous” heading.  In the past, I’ve given my own “miscellaneous” listing to cover batteries which were not mentioned in the summary. But since the clerks of 1863 have secured that heading, I’ll have to consider other options.

For this quarter, with evolution to the presentation, I’ve given space to many of those missing batteries in the normal entries.  Furthermore, it seemed that by June 1863 the Ordnance Department had improved accounting.  When comparing to “missing batteries” from the previous quarter, we can note entries for the 1st Arkansas, 1st Colorado, Mississippi Marine Brigade artillery, and Tennessee’s Federal batteries.  However some were inevitably left out.  A short summary by state, just as a reminder:

In addition, let us also consider the heavy artillery regiments then in service.  As of June 1863, the summaries we have to consider only tallied field artillery.  Heavy, siege, and seacoast weapons were detailed on other forms.  Though I would point out that in 1864 the summaries were consolidated somewhat.  There is a fine “bureaucratic” point to keep in mind here.  The guns of a fort, armory, or other facility were considered property of that installation.  So while the members of a regiment might have manned massive Parrotts and Columbiads, the guns were reported by the installation.

Mentioned in the bullet points above and sprinkled throughout the summaries for the second quarter, many “heavies” were issued field artillery and put to service on active campaigns IN the field.  So we have considered their service where crossing into the field artillery lane.  Still, I think for the sake of a complete record, we should at least identify what heavy artillery units were on the rolls at the time and where they served.

So my next post, to conclude the second quarter of 1863, will be a summary listing of heavy artillery units that were on the rolls as of June 1863.

Summary Statement, 1st Quarter, 1863 – Kentucky and Kansas Batteries

The entries offered in the summary statements for the Kentucky and Kansas batteries have less precise identities than those for other states.  We might call it sloppy clerical work.  Or perhaps the imprecise entries point to a larger issue – that of organizing a massive army, spread across a continent, in short order.  Just getting the designations to comply with standard conventions was a reach.  The snip of the first page illustrates the lack of those conventions:

0108_1_Snip_KY_KS

Looking first to Kentucky (because the clerks didn’t use alphabetical order!), we see two entries and those for the 1st and 2nd Kentucky.  Wartime correspondence of the time-period in question use lettered and numbered batteries, with some irritating interchangeability.  And, there was a third, independent, battery mentioned usually by the commander’s name.  That said, let me look at the conundrum from the reverse angle.  These are the batteries mentioned in Dyer’s Compendium, as a starting point:

  • Battery A:  Captain David C. Stone’s battery was assigned to First Division, Fourteenth Corps at the start of the new year. Later in the spring, the battery was detached, being unassigned and serving in the garrison of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  In May, 1st Lieutenant Theodore S. Thomasson was promoted to Captain and appointed commander of the “1st Kentucky Battery”, still listed by some sources as Stone’s Battery.  So this is likely the battery indicated as “1st Battery” on the summary.  And for simplicity, I’ll refer to them as 1st Kentucky through the remainder of this post.  No ordnance listed for this battery in the reporting period.
  • Battery B: This was Captain John M. Hewett’s battery.  Hewett was captured in July 1862 and did not return to the battery until March 1863.  Lieutenant Alban A. Ellsworth commanded in his absence.  The battery was assigned to Second division, Fourteenth Corps.  And this battery is often cited as 2nd Battery Kentucky Light Artillery.  However, the listing in the summary is clearly referencing a different battery.  I submit Hewett’s Battery escaped the clerk’s tally.
  • Battery C: Not organized until May 1863.  So this battery should not concern us for first quarter, 1863.
  • Battery D: Never completed organization, so we need not worry about this battery.
  • Battery E: Not organized until October-December 1863.
  • Simmond’s Battery:  Captain Seth J. Simmonds commanded a battery formed out of Company E, 1st Kentucky Infantry.  The battery served at Gauley Bridge and Kanawha Falls, West Virginia through the winter and early spring of 1863.  Under reorganizations, the battery became part of 3rd Division, Eighth Corps.  Given the place location referenced, the clerks referenced Simmond’s as the 2nd Kentucky Battery.  I will use Simmond’s here for clarity.  The battery reported six 10-pdr Parrotts.

As you can see, the lax administrative details lead to lengthy explanations 150 years later.

As for Kansas, we see five batteries listed.  All are by commander’s name or reference non-artillery parent units:

  • Allen’s Battery: I think this references Captain Norman Allen and the 1st Kansas Independent Battery. At the first of the year, Allen’s was part of the garrison in Springfield, Missouri. Later in the spring the battery moved to Fort Scott.  So the reporting location of Lawrence, Kansas is problematic.  The battery reported six 10-pdr Parrotts.
  • Blair’s Battery: Fort Scott, Kansas. Four 6-pdr field guns and two 12-pdr field howitzers. This should be Lieutenant Edward A. Smith’s 2nd Battery Kansas Artillery.  The name references Captain Charles W. Blair, the battery’s first commander.
  • Hopkins’ Battery: Captain Henry Hopkins’ 3rd Kansas Battery. The battery had three 6-pdr field guns and one 12-pdr field howitzer. At the start of the year, the battery was in the Department of Northwest Arkansas, at Van Buren on the Arkansas River.  Later in the spring the battery moved to Fort Gibson, in the Cherokee Nation (and that post was briefly named Fort Blunt, as the ledger indicates).
  • 2nd Cavalry: A section in the regiment reported two 12-pdr mountain howitzers. The section was with the regiment at Springfield, Missouri.  Lieutenant Elias S. Stover is listed as the section commander.
  • 9th Cavalry:  A section under Lieutenant Henry H. Opedyke, reporting two 12-pdr mountain howitzers.  The section’s reported location was Trading Post, Kansas on the Marais des Cygnes River.

As you can see, it is possible to “square” the summary entries for Kansas with units listed from other sources. For clarity, for this post I’ll use the same designations indicated on the summary for the Kansas batteries instead of the (perhaps more proper) numerical designations.

Turning now to the ammunition on hand, as per the format we see the smoothbore projectiles on hand first:

0110_1_Snip_KY_KS

Kentucky:

  • 1st Battery: Though they reported no guns, they had 28 spherical case for 6-pdr field guns.  Go figure.

Kansas:

  • Blair’s Battery:  146 shot, 200 case, and 100 canister for 6-pdr field guns; 46 shell, and 74 case for 12-pdr howitzers; 120 case and 98 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers. (As mentioned in earlier posts, the latter column was often used for both field and mountain howitzer canister tallies.)
  • 2nd Kansas Cavalry:  55 case and 8 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.
  • 9th Kansas Cavalry: 41 shell, 116 case, and 57 canister for 12-pdr mountain howitzers.

None of the batteries reported Hotchkiss projectiles on hand.  And from the next page of rifled projectiles, only Parrotts were on hand:

0111_1_Snip_KY_KS

For those Parrott columns:

  • Simmond’s Battery: 1000 shell, 575 case, and 137 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.
  • Allen’s Battery: 804 shell, 228 case, and 152 canister for 10-pdr Parrott.

The next page, for Schenkl’s and Tatham’s projectiles, is blank. so we can move directly to the small arms:

0111_3_Snip_KY_KS

By battery:

  • Simmond’s Battery: Nine Army revolvers and thirty-three cavalry sabers.
  • Allen’s Battery: 100 Navy revolvers and ten cavalry sabers.
  • Blair’s Battery: 134 Navy revolvers and twenty-four cavalry sabers.
  • Hopkins’ Battery: Fifty-one Navy revolvers.
  • 2nd Kansas Cavalry section: Seven Navy revolvers and one cavalry saber.
  • 9th Kansas Cavalry section: One cavalry saber.

Yes, I’d expect to see more small arms reported from the sections in the cavalry.  But the large number of pistols in the other Kansas artillery formations makes up for that, somewhat.  The Kentucky gunners defending Gauley Bridge had ample Parrott shells around, and were without need of many small arms.